While some families may be sightseeing on vacations this spring break, everyone should consider activities that also help support sight-saving. Myopia, or nearsightedness is becoming a growing health concern for kids across the United States. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2018 American Eye-Q Survey®, one in four parents report having a child who has been diagnosed with myopia, and about three quarters of children with myopia were diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 12 years. While myopia can’t be cured, parents can take steps to help reduce the risk of their children developing the condition.
Since getting more sunlight and limiting time on digital devices may reduce the risk of developing myopia, the American Optometric Association (AOA) is encouraging families to give the following gun activities a try during spring break when children are looking to keep busy during their time away from school or during spring break travel with the family.
1. Play road trip games like searching for license plates from all 50 states or road trip bingo where passengers play on a pre-created bingo card of thins to spot on the road like a yellow Volkswagen bug. Games like these will get Kids off their phones and iPads while exercising their peepers.
2. Get some extra sunshine by going on a family hike or bike ride in a nearby forest preserve or state park. You can even add in a picnic.
3. Practice eye-hand coordination with a family game of backyard kickball or football.
4. Play “I Spy” while waiting in the airport to get your kids to extend their points of focus instead of doing something up-close like watching a video.
5. Limit screen time and instead join your kids in science experiments like creating a homemade volcano. Your family can also visit an interactive museum exhibit for a full day of fun and activity or attend local events like a food festival or performance.
6. Practice the 20-20-20 rule whenever you or your children are reading or indulging in screen time by taking breaks every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.